Global Terrorism Database Made Public

    May 24, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

It isn’t an accident; the world’s largest database of terrorism attacks has been made available for researchers of all types.

It took five years to collect some 80,000 incidents from 1970 through 2004 and assemble them into the Terrorism Knowledge Base, at The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT).

Resource Shelf noted the unveiling of the Terrorism Knowledge Base. The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism based at the University of Maryland put it together.

"We’re not just counting up the number of attacks. We’re looking at a long list of specific details, as well as social and economic considerations that may help us understand the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of terrorism," Gary LaFree, director of START, a University of Maryland professor and a criminologist by training, said in the announcement.

Some interesting facts have emerged from early searches of the database, according to LaFree:

Already, searches of the database have offered some myth-busting findings: average age of a terrorist group is one year or less; 74 percent of all groups known to launch attacks between 1970 and 1997 lasted for only 1 year or less; majority of attacks resulted in zero fatalities; 1.2 percent of cases resulted in the death of 25 or more people. Terror incidents began rising some in 1998, and that level remained relatively constant through 2004.

While a lot of information is now open to the public, some data will be limited to access by the Department of Homeland Security, which funded the project, and other elements of the Intelligence Community.